TB Notes Newsletter
No. 2, 2005
TB EDUCATION AND TRAINING NETWORK UPDATES
TB ETN Member Highlight
Gayle M. Schack, BSN, is a Nurse Consultant with the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment. She received her BSN
from Arizona State University in 1979, and a Health Services Credential
from California State University – Los Angeles in 1991.
Gayle provides expert consultation, case management, and guidance
in the care of persons with suspected or confirmed TB and their
contacts, and supervises patient care provided by the public health
nurses in local health care agencies. She provides technical advice
as well as education and training about TB to physicians, nurses,
and other professionals throughout the state.
She heard about the TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN)
through mailings and e-mails sent out by TB ETN, as well as from
Judy Gibson of DTBE, who sends informational e-mails to other nurses.
Gayle joined TB ETN to become a member of a group of nurses and
other health care providers who see the need for TB education. She
also wanted to learn what is available and what other education
and training strategies have been used around the nation; in addition,
she wanted to learn from others. Gayle joined the Membership subcommittee
of TB ETN in an effort to learn more about what TB ETN has to offer;
she also wanted to understand the difference between TB ETN and
the TB resource network.
Gayle is optimistic about what TB ETN can accomplish. “Basically,
I see education as a means to improve patient care. Improved patient
outcomes are a result of timely and appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Once a case is diagnosed, contact investigation can be initiated
quickly and more cases identified or prevented,” Gayle stated. She
would like to see an increased awareness around the nation of how
TB ETN can help improve patient care by ensuring providers are educated.
“I see this group as an important organization in assisting public
health providers to acquire the knowledge and tools necessary to
provide education to other health care providers in a time of few
TB experts. By providing continued and current education to those
who see the patients, we should see a lessening in misdiagnosis,”
Gayle has a “TB 101” slide presentation that she revises to meet
the needs of each audience. “I spend most of my training time educating
local public health nurses. I particularly enjoy discussing current
cases with the health care providers and helping solve problems
through education,” Gayle explained. Last summer she presented a
modified TB 101 to epidemiologists in the local bioterrorism program,
hoping that these persons would be able to help in a future TB outbreak
by assisting in contact investigations and surveillance. In addition
to the TB 101 training, Gayle also worked with the bioterrorism
program in staging an exercise. A large contact investigation being
conducted in a rural community was chosen to become a bioterrorism
response exercise; the second round of testing of the contact investigation
was chosen for the exercise. Her job was to provide quick education
to the nurses and others regarding TB and how to place or read a
TST. You can read more about this event in Gayle’s article, Misdiagnosis
in Rural Colorado, which appears earlier in this issue.
Gayle is involved with TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC)
Task Order #6, Regional Capacity Building in Low-Incidence Areas.
She is part of the technical team charged with writing a TB manual
for low-incidence states. Since she has been involved in Task Order
#6, she has enjoyed working with other nurses such as Kim Field
and Brenda Ashkar (who about 18 years ago told her to go and get
more TB experience when Gayle, as a young PHN, approached her for
a position in Los Angeles TB control). Gayle is also a long-time
member of the planning committee for the Four Corners TB/HIV conference.
Gayle has a personal reason for her dedication to TB control. “My
parents were both hospitalized in the TB sanatorium in Phoenix in
the early 1960s. The Arizona TB program assisted me recently in
obtaining the records of their treatment. All that is left is a
note card for each of my parents. My mother was in the sanatorium
for 1½ years and released ‘with consent.’ My father was in the sanatorium
for 4 months and left against medical advice. I didn’t know you
could do that back then! That [period of hospitalization] left seven
kids at home. I was about 5 at the time and second to the youngest.
Arrangements were made so we could all remain at home. My older
siblings went to high school half days, some in the morning and
some in the afternoon, so they could take care of us younger kids.
I remember visiting with my mother through a chain link fence. Even
though I have worked in TB for 18 years and have a family history
of TB, I remain TST negative!” Gayle shared.
Gayle’s favorite relaxation activity is “baking” on a beach with
a good book. “Most of my vacations involve warm weather and a beach,”
Gayle notes. Gayle has two wonderful sons, Chris, 22 and Brian,
18; both are in college, soon to start their own adventures. She
and her husband of 25 years enjoy traveling: “My husband and I hope
to travel more in the near future. We have recently enjoyed the
beaches in Maui and Nassau. We also enjoy road trips and plan to
take more of them starting in 2005,” Gayle says. She also reads
a lot now that her children are grown.
If you’d like to join Gayle as a TB ETN member and take advantage
of all TB ETN has to offer, please send an e-mail requesting a TB
ETN registration form to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send a request by
fax to (404) 639-8960 or by mail to the following:
CEBSB, Division of TB Elimination
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., MS E10
Atlanta, Georgia 30333
If you would like additional information about the TB Education
and Training Network, visit the website at http://www.cdc.gov.nchstp/tb/TBETN/default.htm.
Submitted by Regina Bess
Div of TB Elimination